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ATLANTA -- Now consumers can have a Coke and a breath of fresh air, as The Coca-Cola Company has completed its transition to HFC-Free insulation for 98 percent of all new purchases of refrigerated sales and marketing equipment.
This milestone is the result of significant multi-year efforts by The Coca-Cola Company and its strategic suppliers to implement HFC-Free insulation for more than 1,300 different sales equipment models.
This new equipment will emit 75 percent fewer direct green house gas emissions, as compared to traditional sales equipment on the market today. "As this equipment replaces older models being retired from our fleet, it will result in an annual reduction of 30,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions," said Jeff Seabright, v.p., environment and water resources for Coca-Cola. "This matters because studies show that HFC emissions will constitute an increasingly greater share of global warming pollutants in the future unless business takes action."
Hydroflourocarbons (HFCs) are gases formerly used to produce the polyurethane insulation in many refrigerated appliances. HFCs are also the most common type of refrigeration gas. However, the gas is considered a powerful global warming pollutant. While a debate exists over specific projections for the total contribution of HFC emissions to global climate change, virtually all of the research projects an increase. If current trends were to continue, HFC's overall contribution to global warming pollution would increase from 1.5 percent today to somewhere between 2 percent and 8.6 percent by 2050.
"Coca-Cola doesn't just talk about environmental responsibility, but acts," said Wolfgang Lohbeck, a climate expert from the environmental protection organization Greenpeace. "We hope that this courageous example will find a lot of imitators in industry and retail."
The elimination of HFCs from insulation materials is part of a broader commitment by the beverage supplier to reduce emissions from sales and marketing equipment. Coca-Cola is also working to eliminate HFCs from its refrigerant gases and reduce the energy usage of its equipment.
Last year, Coca-Cola, McDonald's and Unilever were awarded the United States Environmental Protection Agency's Climate Protection Award for their joint efforts in promoting the development of environmentally friendly commercial refrigeration technology through the creation of the Refrigerants Naturally coalition.
Along with Coca-Cola, The Coca-Cola Company markets Diet Coke, Fanta and Sprite, and a wide range of other beverages, including diet and light soft drinks, waters, juices and juice drinks, teas, coffees, and sports drinks.